ONE OF A KIND DRESSES CUT FROM VINTAGE INDIAN SILK

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 A slow fashion house creating timeless quality pieces. Inspired by a love of Indian textiles, vintage silhouettes and old school craftsmanship. Each one of a kind piece is hand stitched in London from beautiful quality vintage silk, sourced in India.


In India, the cry of the kabadiwala calling out ‘scrap for cash’ is omnipresent. The kabadiwala ethos is based on the concept that rubbish is merely a resource in the wrong place, and we agree. Our vision is to honour Indian craftsmanship, to showcase Indian textile design and celebrate the age old Indian tradition of repurposing.

Bougainvillea dresses are handcrafted from pre-existing silk with early 20th century, hand cut, mother of pearl buttons. Therefore all idiosyncrasies, including wear, mending, marks, pattern anomalies are part of the story of the fabric and overall garment. The imperfect artisan aesthetic coupled with the raw natural fibers and the handmade approach creates a unique feel to each truly limited edition piece. The early twentieth century mother of pearl buttons have been hand cut by Indian artisans in the Bengal. Everyone is unique, a testament to the beauty of imperfection. 

 

 

STORY

Bougainvillea, a slow fashion house, started with a dress Ava  designed from a vintage silk sari, tailor made while in India visiting her partner's relatives. From there, a family business blossomed.

Ava, vegetarian from a child, read Italian & French at university and did an MA at drama school. She followed the family tradition to be in front of the camera, but a trip to India to meet her partner’s family proved a revelation. The abundance of magnificent textiles produced by highly skilled craftsmen and the way repurposing is deeply ingrained in the culture. Everything has an afterlife, another purpose. The notion of karma isn’t limited to people!  

It is a true family enterprise with her partner’s family in India sourcing the textiles and her mother, Penelope Goddard, reprising her distinguished modelling career. The campaign shots are the result of a mother and daughter having fun, endeavouring to capture a moment that tells a story. 

The winter bestseller is named after her late grandmother, the actress Irene Richmond, who gifted her daughter a Singer sewing machine many moons ago. The Paprika and Cardamon dresses are named after her late Dalmatians and Masala her beloved Maine Coon. Cinnamon and Anise love doing the photo shoots, Saffron, the cat, is a little more retiring.

The ‘Amande Atelier’ as it is affectionately known, near Battersea Park, includes Ava, her mother, a local seamstress and the hardest working member, a 50yr old Singer sewing machine.

STYLE 

 Creating an unapologetic feminine aesthetic with cuffed blouson sleeves, raglan shoulders and diaphanous shapes, Ava reworks the iconic silhouettes from the 60s day dress to the bohemian 70s kaftan. These diaphanous one of a kind dresses place Indian textiles at the forefront of the narrative, blending bohemian elements with a sense of historical provenance rendering them timeless. 


LOOKBOOK

Our bestselling styles are our Irene prairie, housecoat Anise and kaftan Paprika. We will shortly be  launching a blouse collection made from vintage Indian silk featuring voluminous sleeves, square yokes and high necks. We offer a bespoke service where clients choose one of our dresses to have made to their measurements and colour choice. 


Irene in paisley.


Anise in hot pink.

Paprika in Kashmiri red floral.

Our mission is to make dresses with integrity, beautifully handcrafted to be worn time and time again.  Dresses that spark joy...!

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